This year's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will bring a lot of things - a day off from school, ceremonies honoring Dr. King, and...service? If you're thinking that King's struggle for equality doesn't translate across all cause platforms, consider this quote:
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
President Obama is urging all Americans to serve their communities on the holiday because Martin Luther King, Jr. was all about change. Below are some of his quotes and the action you could take around them.
- "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Lead an exercise where participants explain their struggles with discrimination and how everyone can work together to prevent it.
- "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live." Show your support for the troops by getting people together to write letters for service members.
- "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically." Collect books that will go to local libraries or underserved schools.
- "Almost always, the creative, dedicated minority has made the world better." Host a multicultural activity at a community center and celebrate diversity.
- "At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love." Sign businesses and homes up for a neighborhood watch.
- "The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers." Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
- "He who accepts evil without protesting it is really cooperating with it." Lead your peaceful protest against a business's unfair practice.
- "Rarely do men engage in solid thinking." Host a public movie screening with a talk back session afterwards.
- "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Host a red hand event that shows foreign governments that you are against child soldiers.
- "Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is not a man." It's okay to part with your jeans. Host a jeans drive to help clothe homeless teens.
- "Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary." Teach a financial workshop so that community members know how credit cards, mortgages, and other finances operate.